Diabetic Medical Supplies
You Will Need to Take Care of Diabetes at Home

You need diabetic medical supplies for use at home. There is no way around self care for a diabetic. But what are those supplies and where do you find them?

Insurance does not cover everything, so you need to know where to get your supplies without breaking your budget.

The only alternative to buying them is to neglect your diabetes treatment. Far too many type 2 diabetics do that.

Please do not be one of them. If the financial burden is too high, maybe what you learn here will help.

Diabetic medical supplies are a huge industry because there are so many of us with type 2 diabetes, and the numbers are growing.

There might be twice as many of us in 2030 as there were in 2010. The demand is high with the result that our supplies are getting cheaper if we know where to look.

How to Become an Expert on Glucose Monitors

Diabetics fight high blood sugar, which means we should check our blood sugar levels every day.

So one of the first diabetic medical supplies we get for home use is a blood glucose monitor.

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Many years ago, I was vaguely aware that my dad used test strips for his type 2 diabetes and that they were for testing his urine. I didn't want to know the details, and I never saw the test strips. He died when I was 31.

Later my brother married a type 1 diabetic. I saw him prick her finger and put a drop of blood on a test strip that stuck out of a little gadget.

Then he took a syringe and tiny vial, measured out her insulin and gave her a shot in her arm. 

That was my introduction to diabetic medical supplies. I had no idea I would become so familiar with them.

Testing Your Blood Sugar

The glucose monitor we use now is light years ahead of the one my brother used years ago.

The amount of blood you need to put on the test strip has shrunk to a tiny drop, and the wait time to get a reading from the glucose monitor has gone from minutes to 5 seconds.

At the doctor's office, a nurse pricks your finger with a lancet to get a drop of blood. At home you have a gadget that holds the lancet.

You pull back the trigger, press it to your fingertip, push a button, and "snap." It pricks your finger, and it is over before you know it.

The lancets are thin because the drop of blood needed for testing is very small, so that means less pain.

Most of the newer monitors give you the choice of testing on your arm instead of the tips of your fingers, which is even less painful.

Monitoring Daily Means Better Control

The power to test your blood sugar at home is something you should not take lightly. Just a few years ago diabetics could not do it.

Being able to test blood sugar levels several times a day greatly increases tight control.

It gives you a fighting chance at avoiding diabetic complications - the neuropathy, amputations, blindness, heart attacks and strokes - that go along with poor control of high blood sugar.

Keeping your blood sugar as close to normal as you can lowers the number of complications. If you are not on insulin, you might only test once a day.

But because testing three times a day is necessary if you're using fast-acting insulin at every meal, it keeps blood sugar and the direct connection to what you eat clear.

Your Monitor Choices

There are many, many choices in monitors. However, your glucose monitor does not have to cost you anything.

You see monitors for sale among the diabetic medical supplies at pharmacies, but they cost more there than anywhere else. Go to amazon.com to find many popular monitors for a few dollars each.

Then check out the diabetes awareness websites or read a diabetes magazine, and read about offers to get new monitors free.

Be aware that the quality of free monitors can vary widely. Here's why it is a good idea to do some homework before you choose yours.

My newest choice was a free Bayer Breeze. I wanted to try the discs that come with their monitor. Plus the promise of no more coding was appealing.

Individual diabetic test strips were getting more and more difficult to use. They are small and thin, and my fingers are clumsy from diabetic neuropathy.

Getting test strips into that little slit on the glucose monitor without dropping them was getting really hard to do.

The discs on the Bayer Breeze hold ten test strips at a time, and they are nice and big. You never have to touch the actual test strips, just set the disc into the monitor, make sure it's sitting right, and close the door.

Test Strips

Your monitor may be free but the test strips definitely are not. Learn the pitfalls of getting a monitor without pricing test strips first.

When you are ready to order test strips, your insurance can help you get them by prescription. But you will need to learn about DME's.

Monitors, diabetic test strips and lancets are called durable medical equipment. Even though you need a prescription so insurance will pay the cost, these diabetic medical supplies are not medications.

Durable medical equipment is a phrase used by insurance companies. You need to know that phrase when you are checking out medical insurance coverage for your diabetic medical supplies.

And there are ways to lower the cost of those supplies. Like monitors, test strips are cheaper online. Also there are other options you can check out here if you do not have insurance.

Other Home Tests

Today there are many tests you can do at home that used to be available only through your doctor or testing lab. One of those is the hemoglobin A1C.

It can be done at a hospital lab or at your doctor's office. But you can also buy a kit and test your HBA1C at home. In a few minutes you'll have a number.

But be aware that a home hemoglobin A1C will not be as accurate as one done at a hospital lab. And it is not the best diagnostic test to find out if you are diabetic.

There are other home tests you can use for cholesterol, etc., but you don't have to use them for diabetes. Right now insurance probably will not pay for these home tests, either.

You Need an Emergency Kit

Type 2 diabetics can have sugar lows especially if we are taking medications like insulin to help keep blood sugar down.

Because sugar lows can happen without warning and because they are extremely dangerous, you need to be prepared.

Every diabetic, type 1 or type 2, should carry a quick glucose "fix" of some kind. Pharmacies sell glucose tablets, but they taste awful.

It is just as easy, and cheaper, to buy wrapped hard candy like LifeSavers.

Keep some orange juice in the refrigerator or in a cooler at work. Also remember to carry something when you exercise.

Traveling takes some thought too. Your diabetic medical supplies have to come with you now. Here's a diabetic travel checklist.

Where can you find inexpensive diabetic jewelry?

Diabetic Jewelry and Other Supplies

Should you get some kind of diabetic jewelry? For a long time I didn't want any, but my family kept after me until I bought a medical alert necklace. Of course, they were right.

Diabetic medical supplies include more than test strips and glucose monitors. There are insulin pens that can be used instead of needles and vials.

The new and improved insulin pumps are simplifying the lives of some insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics.

Diabetic medical supplies are a big part of your life, so the more you know about them, the better.

Managing diabetes can become a huge stressor, making your condition worse.Type 2 diabetes has surprised and dismayed me way too often.

That is why I believe knowing what to expect can help you. It is the reason for this website. Please let me know if you need more and cannot find it here.

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Return to the home page for a diabetic life from diabetic medical supplies.

Mini Site Map for Diabetic Medical Supplies

Glucose monitor news is full of exciting new ways researchers are working on to test your blood sugar without pricking your finger for blood.

Diabetes and the hepatitis B virus are linked to glucose monitor sharing. This is a concern because twice as many type 2 diabetics get HBV as other people. Healthy hygienic practices with your glucose monitor will help, and you might want to get a vaccination too.

Your glucose monitor, how to get a free meter and how to choose the one you want.

Monitor accuracy is not something you can take for granted. Know what you're looking for in a good glucose meter.

Test strips for your glucose monitor and the things you need to know about them.

Insulin pens, what they do and a step by step video on how to use one.

Diabetic jewelry, why you need it, what's available and where to find them.

The insulin pump, it's not just for type 1 diabetics now.

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